How to get Free Clothes for Yourself and Your Family.
Place Similar Coloured Clothes Together.
How to get Free Clothes Using Freecycle and Holding Clothes Swapping Parties.
Times are hard and these days every single penny counts, so why spend more money than you need to on clothes? Why not see if you can get some new (to you) clothes for free.
There are sites out there like swishing.com that allow you to swop clothes online or, here in the UK, we also have an organisation called Freecycle, it helps people find items they want from the stuff others don't want. It is as simple as that.
On Freecycle, you can list just about anything but if you want an easy way to get free clothes and are serious about saving money on your clothing bill then read on.
Hold a Clothes Swapping Party.
Why not try hosting a clothes swapping party. Why would you want to host a clothes swapping party in the first place? Well, it saves you money, is a great way to recycle, so it helps to save the environment as well and what‘s more, it’s fun. It’s also a very good way to find new sports kit for your children, football shirts, in particular, can be very expensive and with growing children, they can get very little wear. Anything can turn up from really nice vintage sunglasses to designer handbags.
Vintage for Nothing.
Anything can turn up at clothes swapping parties from really nice vintage sunglasses to designer handbags.
Need Another Reason?
Clothes swapping parties are also a great way to find odd things to make costumes out of as well, great for fancy dress birthday parties and Halloween. You can quite often find school uniform too if you invite mums from the same school as your children attend. I know that the uniform for the school my girls attended cost a small fortune and the way they grew it needed replacing at least three times a year!
Send out your invitations about two weeks ahead and follow up with a reminder phone call a day or two ahead. Make sure to stress that the clothes should be in reasonably good condition and clean! You can word it quite tactfully. Put in a short explanation about just what happens at a clothes swapping party, it might sound obvious but a little extra information can’t hurt. Try to invite people from a wide age range, it makes for a more interesting party and ensures a variety of fashion styles too.
Who knows, you might end up with a nice collection of vintage clothes that can get a new lease on life from the younger generation. I know that sixties, seventies and eighties clothes are in some demand now with teenagers. Make sure to tell people that they can bring accessories like handbags and scarves as well. You might even want to think about a costume jewellery table but it might be best not to include earrings for pierced ears due to hygiene issues. Vintage sunglasses are another great item to include in a clothes swapping party. Give them a good clean first as lenses get pretty dirty even just sitting at the back of a drawer.
Display Sunglasses and Bags Seperately.
Sort out the Clothes and Display Them Well.
Try to display the clothes in an attractive manner, sort them into sizes and put them into groups as well - tops, trousers, skirts etc. Maybe even a vintage section. Think about the clothing stores you have visited and try to copy some of their ideas. Make sure the room you are using is well lit.
You can make a few labels ahead of time so that people can sort out their own clothes as they bring them.
A standing clothes rail is a very good idea, they can be purchased quite cheaply or maybe borrowed from a friend and storage isn’t really a big problem as they fold down into a neat package. I have one that can be stored under a bed when not in use.
These clothes rails come in very handy when ironing or sorting out your wardrobe too. Keep a separate section for children's clothes, dividing this into school uniform and non-school uniform and in age group order. If you have a lot of baby clothes give them their own table.
Good Quality Hangers Will Make the Clothes Hang Well and Look More Attractive.
We have been trying to cut down on the amount of plastic we use and so holding a clothes swapping party seemed to be a good opportunity to do a little bit more. We bought some great looking wooden hangers online, they really make a difference to the way clothes hang, I found that my clothes got a lot less creased hanging in the wardrobe using the wooden hangers instead of the plastic ones and you can a lot more clothes on each hanger so they save space as well. They look a lot nicer than the cheap plastic ones too and will last for years so they are a great investment.
Swap plastic for wood.
We have been trying to cut down on the amount of plastic we use and so holding a clothes swapping party seemed to be a good opportunity to do a little bit more by replacing our plastic hangers with wooden ones.
The Wooden Clothes Hangers we Bought.
These are the hangers we bought. You get thirty in a packet, we got two packs, as they have a rail along the bottom you can hang a couple of pairs of trousers and a shirt or jumper on each one. They are listed as being basic but they are strong enough for even really heavy clothes and the top hanging hook is well fitted.
Offer Refreshments and a Changing Room.
When people arrive ask them to put out the clothes they have brought with them and then offer them refreshments. Tea and coffee are fine, or maybe invite people to bring along a bottle of wine. Make it a social event, who knows you might end up with a whole new circle of friends or really get to know some of your neighbours.
Set aside a bedroom or spare room where people can try things on in private, provide a full-length mirror if possible. Recycle any plastic bags people bring and be sure to provide a few of your own. You want to make it as pleasant an experience as possible so help things run smoothly and people will enjoy themselves.
Things you Will Need for Your Party.
Full length mirror.
A room for people to change in.
A standing clothes rail.
Hanging lables for clothes.
Fund Raise for Charity.
Clothes swapping parties are a great way to fundraise too, we held one for our local youth group and made enough money to pay for a coach to take them on a trip to an adventure park. You can charge people a small amount to enter and for their refreshments. You can even hold a raffle, in our case a local business donated a prize for the raffle which was great.
Whatever you do, you will end up with some free clothes, you will have freecycled some items of clothing and you might even have made a few new friends.
Fundraising for Charity.
Clothes swapping parties are a great way to fundraise too and to support your favourite charity.
Please take the time to answer this simple poll, thankyou.
Have you ever tried freecycle or held a swishing party? If your answer is yes, what did you think of them?
© 2010 Galaxy Harvey